Baseball In April Is Pure Hell. Except Hell is Sooooo Much Warmer.

There's nothing more American than baseball. And I'm American, so I love going to baseball games. I love watching my kids play. And I have so many happy memories of my Dad taking us to White Sox games, where we kept score even though there was a scoreboard. My memories always include one thing. Warmth. Baseball was a sport meant to be played during summer months. Not in April. April is no where near summer. Let's start with the White Sox home opener. I work in walking distance to Sox…

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Sometimes I Think We Should Take Our Kids on Educational Vacations. But Then I Remember My Childhood.

Going to Florida for Spring Break has become the focal point of our year. It is so amazing to get out of Chicago and sit on a beach. I can't remember the first time I was ever on a beach, but I'm pretty damn sure it wasn't with my parents. They weren't beach people. They took us on a lot of vacations. We definitely went to Disney World, where my Dad would take a picture next to Space Mountain and then go ride It's a Small World After All. And…

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Going to Florida is Amazing, Until It’s Time to Come Home

There is nothing more glorious as getting the hell out of Chicago and going to Florida. The way the sun feels on your skin when you first get out of the car. They way the sand feels between your toes on the beach. The way you can sleep with the windows open and hear the ocean. There is nothing like it. We've been doing this for about 5 years now and we've really nailed the art of the road trip. The way there, we drive straight through the night. We…

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A Special Guest Post From My Class. A Must Read!

Hi! We are Mrs. Barrins 7th grade class. We are in a contest with the rest of our school to see which classroom can raise the most money for such an amazing cause, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation. We are pulling out all of the stops to rack in the big bucks.  Our fundraiser donates the money to children with Leukemia and Lymphoma. This money will make sure that parents can afford the expensive treatment their child needs. Though we mainly want to help those in need, some of us…

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What do Mary Tyler Moore and Derrius Guice Have in Common?

Lou Grant. They have Lou Grant in common. This is the script from the very first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Lou: How old are you? Mary: Thirty. Lou: No hedging! No 'how old do I look'? Mary: [smiles and shrugs her shoulders] Why hedge? Lou: Yeah. Mary: How old do I look? Lou: [pauses] Thirty. [opens booze bottle in his desk drawer] What religion are you? Mary: Uh, Mr. Grant, I don't quite know how to say this, but, uh, you're not allowed to ask that when someone's applying for a job. It's…

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As a Teacher, The Last Thing I Need in My Classroom is a Freaking Gun.

You want to give me a gun? Have you met me? Have you met any teacher, ever? Spend one day in a CPS school and see if you still feel the same way. Think of all of the teachers you've had in your life. Would you have wanted all of them to be armed with a deadly weapon? I'll be the first to admit that I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but none of this makes sense to me. This is not what I signed up for.…

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We Had No WiFi at Work and It Was the Worst Day of My Life.

This is not an easy topic to write about. It's taken me a while to actually put into words this horrific experience. But if it can help at least one person out there, it will be worth it. A few weeks ago I got to work and I could tell something was amiss. Right away. Because people were conversing with one another. No one was hulled away in their classrooms staring at their laptops. People were in the halls. Communicating. I knew it was going to be bad. But really…

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Today, You’re You and That is Enough. My Students are Amazing.

This year I started at a new school. It's in a completely different part of the city, with a completely different set of problems. I miss my old students and co-workers, but fate has definitely put me here for a reason. The other day I wrote about a speech I gave to a group of 8th grade students at a retreat. I spoke from the heart and told them about my kids. About their differences. About acceptance. I had this opportunity all because of an email. A few months ago two…

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A Speech I Gave on Acceptance

I had an amazing opportunity to speak at a retreat for 150 8th graders about being yourself and acceptance. Today I'm sharing the actual speech and tomorrow I will share the reaction and what I learned from the experience. Hi I’m Eileen. I grew up in Chicago not too far from where you guys live. I had a great childhood with amazing parents. I have two brothers that I am really close to. When I was in college tragedy struck. My mom died after a 13 month battle with cancer. It…

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I’m Back. New Year. Pretty Much Same Me.
We even dress alike.

I’m Back. New Year. Pretty Much Same Me.

So I took a little time off from writing. I just needed to recharge and regroup. And really concentrate on my other passion. Drinking. Best thing I could have done. Because now I'm back and ready to rock. My holidays were amazing. Santa was extremely generous to my kids. And some day soon I may actually pick up the remaining wrapping paper that's littering my basement and put away the decorations. But for now I'm content with just closing the basement door. On New Year's Eve we took the kids…

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My Babies Were Born This Way: Raising Gender-riffic Kids

Since becoming a mother, I have learned that all I really care about is that my kids are happy. And healthy. I can only do so much in the healthy department. But, at this stage of the game, I pretty much control their happiness. When it comes to what my kids want to wear in the morning, I have learned that I really don’t give a rats ass what they wear. And I don’t give an even bigger rats ass what people think about what my kids wear. This is…

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You Could Not Pay Me To Shop On Black Friday

If it's one thing I will never understand it's Black Friday. I like to shop. I like to save money. But I don't care for getting the sh!t beat out of me in the process. But that's just me. I prefer to lay in bed and turn on the news and see people killing each other over a half price television. And I am NEVER disappointed. EVER. I used to try to have all of my shopping completed by Thanksgiving. It's just how I rolled. But now I have major…

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